Following a lengthy two-and-a-half year negotiating process, the Oundle Town Football Club Ltd agreed on a 30 year lease with Oundle School that will not only secure their current playing fields, but will create opportunities for new pitches as well. The football club will now go on to seek further funding.
Following the merger of the senior and junior football clubs, Oundle Town Football Club has already laid down an ambitious plan ahead of them. With this new lease, the lower pitch down at Station Road (the club’s main playing fields), which the previous lease did not include, was added to the club’s playing grounds; another addition is the South Road pitches. These expansions will no doubt boost the club’s future development, as more of the club’s teams will be able to train and play at the same time.
The club’s honorary president Mr Malcolm Smith said that after the expansion the club would be able to serve “the whole community and the whole surrounding areas”. The club has teams that range from under 5s to veterans and walking football, and will be looking for support from grant funding from the Northampton Football Association.
On this issue, Mr. Smith expressed optimism about obtaining FA grant funding, council funding and investors who are keen on contributing to the community. Looking to the future, he said: “We would look for developed pitches licensed, a bigger clubhouse where we can cater for all ages and genders.”
Mr Richard Tremellen, Director of Estates at Oundle School noted that in order to get grant funding, a secure tenure needed to be established, which was one of the reasons for the length of negotiations. He said that the lease had been agreed on “very favorable” terms for the club. “The school is very keen to support them as a sport in town.”
He expressed hope that the club would be able to “redevelop their clubhouse, and reconfigure the playing fields and parking arrangements”.
The club’s directors and committee have produced a long term strategy to turn the club into a “community centre of excellence for Oundle and the surrounding area”.
With these new terms in place, there is every reason to believe that the football club will attract
greater participation and achieve wider influence in Oundle and the local area.